An early morning desert sunrise with Falcon Force and their birds of prey.
Falcon Force is a team of raptors lead by Vahe’ Alaverdian, who provides traditional falconry methods to control nuisance birds at vineyards, crop fields, airports, and landfills. Vahe’ is a Master falconer with 30 years of experience handling and training birds of prey.
Everyone thought the falcons were kept in separate cages but this is how they actually transport them, in the back of the truck, uncaged with their blinders on.
Vahe’s passion for the sport of falconry started at the age of seven with a Eurasian Kestrel.
We were told to stand in a straight line and not move since the birds could be diving at speeds up to 240 miles per hour. The Peregrine falcon is the fastest living creature on earth.
Vahe’ explaining the art of falconry before showing off his skills.
He started off by bringing out SHAMAN, a 2 year old male peregrine falcon.
It was extremely windy on top of the hill we were on, so some of the birds were not as skilled with flying in these conditions as some of the others were.
The falconer uses a rope with a tennis ball on the end of it covered with pigeon wings.
By swinging the rope and using specific bird calls, the falcons dive for the feathered tennis ball which replicates what they do when used to control nuisance birds.
Vahe’s falcons rarely take down/kill any of the nuisance birds they are hired to chase away, instead the birds are rewarded with fresh meat which is hand fed to them after their work is completed.
Rebecca was up next…
…and her skills were pretty amazing.
Watching them is like watching a well choreographed dance performance. It also kind of reminded me of fire dancers.
Rebecca prepares to reward her falcon after completing her demo.
You could tell she really loves her birds.
Somebody they know makes all of the masks/hoods for their birds. She charges $150 dollars for each hand stitched creation which are customized to fit each individual bird.
Now it was our turn to interact with the raptors. He dines…
Crazy eye fly away.
CLEAVER is a 6 year old female Harris’ Hawk and was the biggest of the bunch.
It kind of became a bird petting zoo.
CLEAVER was NOT having it.
EAST TEXAS RED is a 1 year old male Barbary Falcon and quite the poser.